Saturday, October 24, 2009

pickles: an attempt at domesticity

This portion of the post was written August 18, 2009.

It was not many weeks into marital bliss that I discovered DH has a great love of pickles. If I buy pickles, he eats them. No languishing forgotten in the fridge. He eats about two pickles a day, on average. One before leaving for school, another after getting home. Pickles (the "good" kind), are kind of a lot of money though. And I only ever saw them on decent sale ONCE. (I bought 8 jars, and they were gone in the blink of an eye! I should have just cleaned out the store.) So I buy a jar here and there when a lesser brand would go on sale, but the sales aren't much of a deal.

Poor DH. He does not have enough pickles to eat.

And now, the seemingly tangential story that will transition smoothly back to the world of pickles:

DH and I ate at a friends house last Saturday night. The lovely lady of the house, Karina F, had just finished canning some peach jam. In awe at her domestic skill, she pointed me toward the counter where I saw her homemade pickles. I tasted some too, and they were yum. I then determined that I MUST make pickles for DH. Especially since small cucumbers are in season and cheap.

So. I attempted to make pickles. I sort of followed this recipe. Except I have no idea what a "head" of dill weed is, so I ignored that. And I didn't have any ice (or ice trays for that matter), so did not do the ice bath. Then, I got to the part where I tried to sterilize the quart jars in boiling water. It turns out my biggest pot was not tall enough to submerge the jars. (Drat!) So I tried to make do. I sort of "processed" half of the filled jars for 5 minutes in boiling water, and the rest I didn't bother since I didn't think it would seal anyway (and I of course googled it and somebody random on chowhound said it wasn't necessary to process them.

Here is the result:

I am supposed to wait two months to allow for mixing of flavors, but we'll see.

October 24th:

So, there are only 2 jars of pickles left. David began eating them after about 2 weeks. And they are really good! Pretty crunchy too. I think the ones I did NOT boil fared better. Next time I do this, I will try a canning method that is specific for keeping pickles crisp. No more submerged boiling, but perhaps steaming? Not sure yet. I sort of don't have any canning equipment. I'll do more research next year:)

PS. Janie the magnificent has a lovely post about her family pickle rule. No more than two per person per day. I think we might need this rule in my house eventually as well!


Juliana said...

Mom use to make delicious pickles.

The Pauls said...

You're more motivated than I am!

So long, and thanks for all the fish.